Disclaimer: I don't own the turtles or Splinter, or even April and Casey (Should they happen to pop up in this fic). I wish I did though. The only characters I own so far in this fic are Devon and Austin.

Authors notes can be found at the bottom of the fic.

Voiceover:

If someone had asked me a year ago of possible places I'd see myself today, standing in sewage down in the tunnels beneath New York City at midnight wouldn't have been on the list. Well, I take that back. It's possible that some random part of my brain might have pulled that image up and blurted it out just because it was funny and would annoy the person asking the question. I've always been like that. The sarcastic answer wins out over the honest truth most of the time. But my POINT is that I wouldn't have seriously thought I'd be here. Ankle-deep in the bowels of New York. Or bowel movements of New York, if you want to get disgustingly accurate. I'm quite sure there's a broken pipe somewhere around here, and if I was a decent citizen, I'd notify the city engineers about it so they could get their lazy butts down here and fix it.

But alas, I am not that decent of a citizen. Besides, they might get curious and ask me what I was doing down here. And it's really hard to make "My dead brother told me to hide down here and I was too drunk to object" sound like a good excuse. Honestly, folks. You'd think "Hey, there's 24-hour convenience store around the corner!", or maybe "That church across the street will give you sanctuary!" would have been better suggestions. But no, he had to point down the open manhole with the "Danger" and "Construction Zone" signs and say "Down there! They won't find you down there!"

I love my brother. Don't get me wrong. But sometimes he can be a real pain in the ass. Every once in a while I wish he had a physical form just so I could beat the shit out him. At least it would prove to me that he's real, and not just a figment of my imagination. Sometimes I worry. It's not normal to see dead people. But Devon has been visiting me all my life, so it doesn't seem unusual in my perspective. However, it's not a subject I like to bring up over casual conversation. "Hi! My name is Austin! Yah, I know it's a boy's name. Blame my mother. How about that weather we're having? My dead brother thinks you're really cute."

Yah. That doesn't tend to go over very well with people.

So back to my original point. Sewers. New York. Midnight. Why, oh why, didn't I take a cab home? It's only 8 blocks, I thought. This is a good part of town, I thought. Two beers wouldn't affect my ability to think straight, I thought. Obviously, I thought wrong. (And the two beers turned into four, which was a REALLY bad idea on my part… The AMF after that hadn't helped much either.) The punks who jumped me couldn't have been more than two years into high school. 15-years old and already mugging helpless women for drug money. It's a sad day in New York when a grown woman can't kick the ass of two skinny pot-heads. But to be honest, I was drunk from the alcohol. So when they grabbed for my purse, I shrieked like the helpless girl I was, dropped it, and ran. Or stumbled, depending on how you look at it. They must have been pissed when they discovered all I had in there was some lipstick and a couple tampons. I'm not stupid. When I go out to the bar, I only take my picture ID, and some cash. And I keep them in my pocket. Paranoid, yes. Stupid, no.

So, apparently they realized that two super-absorbency tampons wouldn't buy them very much pot, because they started chasing me. And right about then, Devon showed up. And in that smart-ass manner of his, shook his head and told me he can't leave me alone for more than five minutes without me getting into some trouble. (But in all honestly, HE'S the one who's caused me nothing but trouble my entire LIFE… but I didn't think it polite to bring that up right at the moment.)

Well, he guided me down an alley, and pointed to the open manhole. And in my moment of drunken confusion, I hauled ass down into the sewers after my dear, dead brother. It's moments like that when I realize that maybe all those doctors were right when they told me that if I just ignored Devon, he would go away. That if I proved to myself that I didn't need to hang on to the memory of him, he would vanish, and I would be alone with myself and happier for it. It hadn't worked so far, and Devon was still as real as he ever was, and only I could see him. And thanks to him, I was going down into a shit-smelling hell. I suppose it could have been worse. I could have been naked.

That's one of my own personal beliefs. No matter how bad the situation, things could ALWAYS get worse. …. You could end up naked. I think I'll stitch that on a pillow someday.

ANYWAY. Sewers. New York. Midnight. And to top it all off, gigantic talking turtles. Oh. Did I forget to mention that part? They seemed as surprised to see me as I was to see them. I suppose it's not everyday a drunk, seemingly delirious woman drops down the ladder right on top of them as they're trying to climb up. Considering my hand-eye coordination was on temporary hiatus, and I'd missed the third rung down on the ladder with my foot, it's a damn good thing they WERE there. Otherwise I'd have probably broken my neck from the fall. I let out a rather undignified groan as I hit the first one, and then continued to topple down and hit the second one. I landed on the third. My ass was going to be sore in the morning. And a small part of me felt bad that whoever I landed on was going to be even sorer than me. There was a sharp pain in my head, and I wasn't sure if it was from the fall or from the liquor.

There was a groan from below and then I heard, "Jesus Christ, lady, ever heard of a diet?" I should have been offended. But at that moment, I thought it was incredibly funny. I started giggling. I was laying on my back, on top of something hard, staring up at two creatures coming down the ladder that I could only assume were turtles, by the looks of them. One was rubbing his head, the other his shoulder, and a fourth one was peering down at me from somewhere on my left. All three were looking at me like I was insane.

Mentally, I was picturing what just happened, and realized it would have been absolutely hilarious to have witnessed. I wished I had been standing down here when I fell, so I could have seen myself and laughed and called myself a dumbass. I have weird thoughts when I'm drunk.

A hand was clasped over my mouth suddenly and it made me want to laugh even harder. I heard a whispered "Shut up!" from beneath me, and then from above, the voices of the two punks who'd jumped me. There was a quick, disorienting movement and I found myself pulled up against the wall, out of the small bit of light that shone down through the manhole. From what I could hear from the street above, the kids were arguing over whether or not to follow me down. They probably thought I'd killed myself from the fall and didn't want to be caught trying to rob a dead woman in the sewers. But I wasn't worried about that right now. My mind was concentrating on the arms holding me back against the wall. One hand was still wrapped around my mouth. The other was around my torso.

Two inches higher and he'd be molesting me, I thought. A snort escaped my nose and I almost cried, I was laughing so hard. Help, help! I'm being molested by a giant turtle! That's even better than the dead brother thing. God, I hoped I didn't pee my pants. There's nothing more embarrassing than peeing your pants while being molested by a giant turtle. Although… I'd had a pet turtle when I was younger, and he'd pee'd on me a couple times. Maybe this was some sort of karmic chance I'd been given to even the score. In the end, it was probably for the best that I didn't take the chance.

We stood like that for a few moments, until the voices faded away to nothing, and then the arms released me. I stumbled forward, and somehow managed to grab hold of the ladder to steady myself. The giggles were finally dying down, and I heard another voice to my left. "Holy shit, Austin! Are you ok?"

Devon was staring at me with a shocked expression on his pale, shimmering face. Behind him… or rather.. through him, I could see one of the turtle creatures with his hand raised, in an almost peaceful gesture. I grinned and raised my hand to match his, giggled again, and said, "I come in peace!"

"Uhh….", One of them said.

"She's nuts!"

"Nah, she's drunk."

"Austin!"

"Lady, you ok?"

"She's bleeding.. we need to get her some help."

The smile died on my face as I looked at them and I reached my hand to my forehead. That sharp pain in my forehead hadn't been the liquor wearing off…

"Dammit, Austin, we need to get you to a doctor!"

Blood. It was dark, and black in the dimly lit tunnels. I stared at my fingers. They were coated with it. A small voice in my head told me it really wasn't that bad. Head wounds always bleed a lot. Just a little blood. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to get upset over. But I'd never been able to handle blood. Ever since Jimmy Tenner's 6th birthday party… Two of the things that I can't stand… blood and birthday cake. But that's a story for another day.

The voices of the creatures and Devon started to fade. Everything around me started to become strangely dark. All I could see was the ink-black blood on my fingers. The hand that was gripping the ladder started to slip. As my body pitched forward into the blackness, the last thing I remembered was Devon shouting my name, and then, nothing.

Authors Notes: Ok, this is my first TMNT fic, and I'm trying very very hard for Austin to not be a Mary Sue. If she starts to lean towardsMary Sue-dom, please feel free to ride my ass and let me know that I need to start changing things. Criticism is appreciated. I apologize for any inconsistencies or grammar errors ahead of time. I don't have a beta at this time, and so I have to rely on the hand-dandy word-check on Microsoft Word. ...Did you know that it doesn't recognize "dumbass" as a word? Hehe, I fixed that little oversight.

Melodist